Hello!

In January we had our mock exams, except in art it was a real exam. So I decided to share with you my ‘final piece’ which is a series of three manipulated fabric pieces based on my own photographs and from what I had been developing in my coursework sketchbook. I layered  fabric to create different segments of the pieces, and machine stitched them to a foundation layer. They took about 4 hours each. I dyed them first with this magical stuff called Brusho, sprinkling salt over the top to create strange repellent textures. I then embroidered areas to create texture, as well as layering crinkled newspaper and tissue paper, although you probably can’t see these textures as I have taken the photos from far away. My favourite one is the middle one, its the first one I did and it was the one I had the most fun creating, so that’s probably a main reason why, I love the turquoise colours and textures, it is now up on the wall in the art department amongst the hilarious mugshot collage of the art students.

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Anyway, I hope you’re all having a lovely Sunday!!

Z x

Feeling all Autumnal

 I just love the way the leaves crunch under your feet and you can curl up on the sofa smothered in blankets and watch the world go by in the rain outside. Autumn is one of the best seasons because its not too cold yet and it doesn’t rain as much as winter and there’s loads of pretty orangey colours everywhere

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   This is one of my favourite jumpers ever, for some reason I find it difficult to buy things or spend money on myself. I saw this one day in a shop just glowing from across the room, you know, the way jumpers do. On impulse I actually bought it instead of tearing myself away with great reluctance and I’m so glad I did! One day I’m going to knit a jumper, or maybe several, I’ve been meaning to for a while but keep forgetting to get some wool that fits a pattern.

    I actually find that (below) photo thoroughly amusing, it kind of looks like I’m dead. Don’t fret, I’m not. Obviously. Those docs have fur inside them and they’re the softest shoes I’ve ever owned. I practically live in them. Bit of juxtaposition for you there. I bought the nude skirt about 3 years ago, it was a midi but I grew (slightly) and now its a bit less midi. I wear it a lot now but when I first bought it I regretted it after a week because I ‘t think it looked right…glad I didn’t give it away now though!didnIMG_7447

The camper van is called Florence by the way. Aka Flozza. Ok I’m lying, we would never call it Flozza.

There’s been a lot going on at college lately, for some inane reason, Ofsted (the boss of education or whatever they are) have decided to add to the already too stressful lives of A level students. We now have a controlled assessment every three weeks for each subject, that must meet our minimum target grades or at least one below, and if not we are in the ‘amber or red zone’…ooooh. Scary. Then you have to resit it it the next week if you don’t meet that grade. To top it off I have tons of geography coursework and english coursework that nobody even knew about and and and…

Sometimes I just feel like school or college or whatever is taking over my life. I know for a fact that the majority of my friends feel like this too. And probably the whole A level community. I want to run away and do something fun. Like learn to speak mandarin and travel the world and jump out of an aeroplane (with a parachute, breathe). I used to love learning about new things and now its becoming such a chore and I’m beginning to resent my most loved subjects.

We’re doing a Christmas Jumper Secret Santa. Ai-eee 🙂 I love secrets and I love shopping for presents so all is bright on that front.

“I want to live in a lipstick jungle”

Hi!

It’s been a while, I know. I do apologise sincerely 😉

I have been back from Ecuador nearly four weeks now, I can’t believe it had gone so fast already! I have thoroughly enjoyed my trip it has honestly been the best so far. I think its been so good not only because it was a new place, a new culture,meeting lovely people, travelling and a great experience volunteering, I genuinly believe that I felt like I had achieved something, especially having gone by myslef without knwoing anybody before I actually went to the departure meeting

I definitely recommend the organisation that I found my project through, I fundraised the money, and with this money they organised transport around Quito, accommodation with a wonderful family, all meals, a one to one intensive Spanish course, two nights out, donations to the project and an experience to remember. They had a pre-departure briefing as well to tell s about the project and the city, talking about absolutely everything you could think of which was very reassuring and helpful.The most difficult part was the actual coming home, I wasn’t quite ready to leave and I was experiencing reverse culture shock and post travel blues, but I’m now looking ahead to my travels next year either to Ghana or India!

My deafness didn’t get in the way of my trip (excluding some meal times when there were 10 plus people talking), if anything I noticed it less than I do at home and especially less than at college. Its quite strange really because I didn’t even realise this until I came back home again.I really did feel happy there and I think a big part of it was because I wasn’t so ‘deaf’ all the time. Everybody spoke Spanish, which I only knew the basics of as did the other volunteers so we were all a little clueless and it didn’t matter that I couldn’t hear them because I couldn’t understand the language enough anyway. The project was working with 2-3 year olds which meant that the only things they ever said were ‘papas’ (potatoes),’no’ and ‘peepee’ (which is toilet if you can’t guess). I felt an sense of belonging in Quito, I even noticed that a lot of Ecuadorian people are quite small so I didn’t feel much different from anyone else, well aside from being white and ginger, but what are you gonna do?

The organisation I went with is Outreach International, this is their website http://www.outreachinternational.co.uk/ and my project code was E11, in case you’re interested in finding out more information or maybe sign up for a project yourself! If you want to ask me anything, I’m happy to help! I am already planning my next volunteering project for 2016, when I have finished a foundation course, it will be teaching disabled women in Cambodia different sewing skills (night-school will come in handy now!) so that they can keep earning money while keeping in touch with the changing trends. And then I’m going to be touring around south east asia! After the gap year I will then go to university to study fashion design…yes I have actually made my mind up for once…I feel so free haha!

Finally, I want to give a great big thanks everybody that has supported me and sponsored me, it was truly amazing!

 

 

(by the way the title is a song that has been constantly stuck in my head called ‘Lipstick Jungle’ by Newton Faulkner, it just sounds like fun to live in a  lipstick jungle.)

El Jardin de infantes

So I’ve been having an amazing time in Quito. I got very sunburnt after only 2 days at the beach (I did put loads of cream on I promise!). The beach wasn’t what I imagined, it was very long, grey almost black sand (I guess from all the volcanoes) with silvery green water and bright cloudy skies. The road next to the beach is full of nice bars and restaurants, but behind that road the Atacamas is a different story. We could see that it was a very run down area, with crumbling walls, some with no doors, very small cramped living spaces and green murky water in the river that splits the town, with at least one stray dog on each corner. It was nice to get to know the other volunteers better but I was glad to be back in Quito.

I started my project at the kindergarten yesterday, I’m already tired but loving it! I am in a classroom of toddlers about 2/3 helping out two staff. They are all adorable, although some are fascinated by my glasses and appear to find it hilarious when they hit me on the head with plastic toys. I mostly help get the children seated for breakfast, lunch and dinner, brush their teeth, get them changed for nap time and play with them. The only thing I’ve struggled with is meal times, the children are made to eat everything on their plates, which are quite large portions for 2 year olds. They do kick up a fuss and some cry when they’re full, but are still force fed even when they’re still chewing the previous mouthful. Today one of the girls in my class actually threw up over the table because she had eaten so much 😦 Its also a matter of speed, to keep things flowing they try to speed up meals which doesn’t really help. It does mean that the parents don’t have to feed them when they get home but I do find it difficult to watch.

On the way back to Monika’s house from the project today me and Emily got split up :/ It was a stressful experience! Basically while I was paying to get through the barriers at the stop, Emily had already managed to get on the bus, which I missed. It was scary because although I got on the right bus back I couldn’t be certain that Emily hadn’t gotten off the next stop and headed back for me as she can’t receive or send texts on her phone here. When I got off the bus I rang Monika on three different numbers she had given me, two were invalid and one did pick up but I couldn’t hear anyway. So I thought the best thing would be top walk back to Monika’s which was lucky as that was where Emily was! 🙂 I wasn’t worried about being on my own but more so that Emily may have been deserted if she had decided to head back with no way on contacting anyone.

One of the volunteers called Chloe went back to Boston last night, apart from Emily, she was the I felt most at ease with. To celebrate her last night Chloe and I went to plaza and then we watched bridesmaids with Emily. At dinner, Monika told us about a volunteer who died last year when she was climbing a mountain and its been said that people still see her in the spanish school at night, her classroom light being on. Guess who was here teacher? Mercedes! I’m glad that I’ve finished spanish now because although I don’t believe it, its still scary that its the same room where I was taught! No wonder Monika worries about us all, she has been through a lot. We were all very jumpy last night so Bridesmaids was a good distraction! 🙂

My second independent adventure abroad!

I might have already told you, but on the 18th July I leave to go on an adventure of a lifetime to Quito, Ecuador! I’m so excited!! I’m volunteering for three weeks, for the past year I had been envisioning myself on my project in an orphanage. However, today I got an email from the boss of it all, saying that my project couldn’t have me as I wasn’t staying long enough. I hadn’t read the whole email just yet so, being me, started having heart palpitations, obviously it was shock to be moved when it had been organised, months of fundraising and letter writing and finding flights…

But not to worry! I’ve been put on another project that sounds just as amazing, working with children in the shanty town off the side of a volcano! :O I’m going to be teaching english, working mostly in the school and caring for the children. Its probably a good idea I’m not quite 18 yet as I’m pretty sure I’d want to adopt all the children!

http://www.outreachinternational.co.uk/ecuador/teaching-shanty-town-children.html I’ve attached a link to the new project I’m doing and this is the organisation I’m volunteering with, in case you want to embark on a volunteering experience abroad!

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Aaaaaaaaaaaaargh, I’m positively ecstatic!

I made it onto the YAB! So Excited :D

   The YAB, is the Youth Advisory Board from NDCS (national deaf children’s society) where 15 deaf people aged 12-18 join to make life better for deaf people in the UK. Its an amazing opportunity and I have so many ideas of what can be done/changed. Last years team campaigned to make health services more accessible for deaf people and I can’t wait to get started on the new campaign when we decide on it!

   To get on it I had to fill in a form about myself and then as they liked the form, NDCS staff interviewed in Manchester. It was completely nerve racking and I worried that I didn’t say enough…but I guess they liked me! 🙂 There’s three residential weekends where I get to meet the other board members (the first one is in a few weeks), I’m looking forward to it as I don’t know many deaf people and I’d love to make new friends and learn more BSL. It’s in Birmingham, where I’ve only been briefly (to a cadbury’s world haha) so its all new to me 🙂

Wish me luck!!

 

More on the YAB from previous members’ views:

http://youngpeople.ndcsbuzz.org.uk/go.php?structureID=S49FAE2CCD445F&ref=P4F8FD10FDE107

When suddenly I have superpowers

So I was talking to somebody the other day and she said “it must be so cool to lipread like you do, its like a superpower…. you can read anyone’s lips whenever you want and just know what they’re saying”. If that’s as the case then why did I have to ask her to repeat what she was saying Imageseveral times in the conversation? I did a presentation to the year a while ago and I stressed how much I rely on lipreading, ‘I need to see your face or…’ ‘don’t stand in front of a window or…’, you get the idea. Maybe I stressed it too much or perhaps I should have said with each point I made that just because I rely heavily on lipreading doesn’t mean that i can miraculously hear because sometimes saying it once or twice doesn’t really make it sink in.

When there are lots of new people around its especially difficult to lipread people as I’m not used to their lip patterns. Sometimes there are strange circumstances, for example, the other day I was on a bus and as it stopped I saw two women talking and I lipread the one who was facing towards me and I could tell what she was saying, or at least the short sentence i saw before the bus left, it also fit in well their body language. It’s weird like that, how can I understand complete strangers but then not lipread others that well? That’s happened a few times…it seems to be that when i really want to hear what somebody is saying I can’t understand them, I can’t follow their lips and the words merge together.

Anyway, when the girl said the bit about the superpowers I kind of worried that maybe a few people at college think like this, maybe they really do think i’m quiet and I don’t even want to join in with their conversations and I’m ‘antisocial’ because of course I can read every word they’re saying(!) I don’t know. Maybe she’s the only one. I did try telling her that it is still difficult to understand what people are saying but we were at a party and I didn’t want to seem like I was lecturing her. Maybe I worry too much about what others think.

I wish somebody would tell me why people find it hard to make conversations with me. Is it because they do think I’m quiet and I don’t really talk? (which is because I can’t follow and therefore join in conversations) Or is it because I’m deaf and they don’t know what to say or they’re scared in case they say something wrong? I don’t want this to be the case but I’m running out of possibilities….and if any of these are true how can I possibly make it better? I don’t really think that anyone can fully understand what its like to be deaf unless of course they are. It’s times like these when I think there should be a film about a deaf teenager with personal inputs from hundreds of deaf people everywhere so the facts are right. Not a documentary, but a film that people can get stuck into, not get bored and they can relate to the characters, something that people say afterwards ‘that was good’ or ‘that was powerful’. Maybe I should put my new letter writing skills to use and write to some producers!! Not sure they’d take me seriously!